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Beaudreau Headed for Runoff, TSPLOST Fails and Broun, Balfour Win Big

Gwinnett County District 3 commission incumbent fails to secure enough votes to avoid a runoff.

Though he managed to secure over 47 percent of the vote in a four-man race, the vote tally fell short of the majority total Mike Beaudreau needed to avoid a runoff. With all precincts reporting, Beaudreau had 47 percent of the vote followed by Tommy Hunter with 22 percent and Jerry Oberholtzer with 20 percent. Dacula resident Mike Korom finished last with 10 percent. 

The runoff between Beaudreau and Hunter will be held Aug. 21.

Voters Say No to TSPLOST

Despite a massive marketing campaign designed to convince voters that the future of Atlanta depended upon passage of the 10-year, 1 percent transportation sales tax or TSPLOST, the referendum failed by a wide margin with 62.59 percent voting against the measure. A TSPLOST referendum was held in each of Georgia's 10 transportation districts. Of those 10 districts, only three (Heart of Georgia Altamaha District, River Valley District and Central Savannah River Area District) passed the referendum.

Incumbents Cruise to Victory

U.S. Congressman Paul Broun, M.D. overwhelmingly won his reelection bid for the 10th District Congressional seat with just under 69 percent of the vote.

State Senator Don Balfour, whose 9th district covers much of Dacula, also sailed to an easy win with over Republican challengers Steve Ramey and Travis Bowden with 62 percent of the vote. Balfour will face Democratic challenger Scott Drake in November. 

Judicial Races

Chris Ballar defeated Marlene Duwell in the race for probate judge. In the race to succeed Dawson Jackson for Superior Court judge, Kathy Schrader was the top vote getter with 43 percent of the vote. She will face second place finisher Tracey Mason Blasi in a runoff. The race for State Court judge to succeed Robert Mock is also headed to a runoff. The top two vote finishers were Emily Brantley (27.95 percent) and Pam Britt (26.87 percent).

Ballot Questions

Republican and Democratic voters had the opportunity to share their opinion on several issues through non-binding questions on the party ballots. The GOP ballot had five non-binding questions and the Democratic ballot had four statewide questions and four local questions.

Republican voters were almost evenly split on whether or not the state should offer casino gambling and direct the proceeds to education. A scant majority -- 50.25 percent -- said yes.

GOP voters were also split on whether citizens should have to register by political party in advance to vote in a primary. The majority -- 53 percent -- said no. 

Republican voters were more united on whether gifts from lobbyists should be capped at $100 with 87 percent voting yes. GOP voters also showed strong support for allowing active duty military personnel under the age of 21 to obtain a Georgia weapons license (69 percent in favor) and for amending the state constitution to protect life from its earliest biological beginnings (66 percent). 

Democrat voters showed support for ending the practice of unlimited gifts from lobbyists to state legislators (72 percent in favor), adopting an income tax credit for home energy costs (72 percent supported) and reducing sales tax on made in Georgia products (87 percent in favor). 

Results of the other statewide question -- whether the state constitution should be amended to allow the state to override local school board decisions regarding charter schools -- showed 56 percent opposed.

In the additional Gwinnett County non-binding questions, Democratic voters expressed support for limited commercial flights out of Briscoe (54 percent) and casino gambling in Gwinnett County (53 percent). Democrats also agreed that $50,000 was an adequate salary for the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioner chairman (68 percent voted yes). Democratic voters were also united in their lack of knowledge regarding a Saturday early voting day for the November election with 77 percent indicating they did not know about it.

Sabrina Smith August 08, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Floyd: You are offensive. You do not know how to engage in friendly banter; you only attack. I have been out of town because I have medical power of attorney for a terminally ill family member. Is that a fantastically lame enough excuse for you? End of discussion.
Floyd Akridge August 08, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Sabrina...you have done nothing but attack and for sure and for certain have not engaged in friendly banter in the least. Furthermore, your mention of being out of town left no possible way of knowing your situation and was immediately followed by your statement about Floyd's rules which again left no way of knowing. Can't pin that one on me. That said, early this morning I lost a friend to cancer so I will respect your situation and it will not be brought up again.
Jim Regan August 08, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Sorry to be arriving to the party late, but I must ask Floyd how many of the 800 citizens Mike met with were treated like this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co4nrVhbANU Actions speak much louder than campaign promises, who wants a representative with an attitude like this?
Jim Regan August 08, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Actually Floyd, Sabrina has based her questions on document obtained through freedom of information requests she has filed with the county. She has lots of proof and simply can't understand why Beaudreau nor the Chamber will respond. Of course when you're caught red handed it's hard to plead innocence or ignorance. So they ignore the question and hope Sabrina will go away. I have news for them and you, Sabrina isn't just persistent, she's relentless.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew August 15, 2012 at 04:26 AM
I don't see a SINGLE budget focused issue in your comment/reply to Sabrina here. We don't all stay GLUED to the internets if out of town either. So lets get back on track shall we? Will Mike B's NEW county sales tax increase that he himself called a Gwinnett FAIR tax be on the ballot or not in 2012?

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